Sunday, November 21, 2010

Choices

“It doesn’t really matter
One way or the other—
The hairstyle I have chosen, or
The one that’s on my brother.

It doesn’t really make a difference
If cars are black or white,
Or if I wear a color shade
That you would think too bright.

Salvation, holiness, and love
Are heart and spirit things;
They don’t consist in what I drive
Or what my brother sings.

Why this fuss of right or wrong,
Bickering all the while?
My brother’s not like me. So what?
Embrace him with a smile.”

Is this the truth—the whole truth—
Or is it only half?
Is God the Author of these thoughts,
Or does the devil laugh …

To see so many Christians
Behind this thinking hide,
And taking refuge in these “truths,”
Indulge in self and pride?

It doesn’t really matter?
But God says that it does;
And furthermore He teaches that
It’s not an idle fuss.

If details do not matter,
Why didn’t our Father say
So simply to each child of His,
“Be holy. Go thy way?”

Instead He gives instruction
On what to do or say;
On how to treat our elders,
And when, and what to pray.

Of worship and its details;
Alms, and how much to bring;
Of who should be a leader;
How, when, and what to sing.

He tells us when to laugh or weep,
And what to eat or drink;
How much to talk and work and sleep,
And even what to think.

He cares about our business,
If we are rich or poor.
Our clothes, our love, our feelings, plans,
Relationships and more.

“Angel of light,” the devil is—
A wolf with clothing fair,
Who cuts the truth in half, and spreads
Confusion everywhere.

“Do these things really matter?”
He says to you and me.
“You have the right to choose your way
And thus in Christ you’re free!”

“You choose,” ah, there’s the secret
Of Satan’s lie, half-told;
These choices are the building
Of either straw or gold.

No, outward things don’t save us
This fact is true, so true!
But it’s the choice behind them
That saves or ruins you.

The clothes you wear, your hairstyle,
Each word you think or say,
The car you drive, the books you read,
The work you do each day;

The way you dress your children,
The songs you want to sing,
The preacher that you listen to,
The way your phone may ring;

Are all because of choices
God sees and understands;
He weighs each choice and its reward
In His all-knowing hands.

Say not, “It doesn’t matter,”
This is the devil’s snare.
The dress or car or shoe reveals
The choice that put it there.

When we are making choices,
Which question is our test?
“I wonder just what’s wrong with it?”
Or, “Which way is the best?”

What is our deepest longing?
To glorify God’s Name?
To build and edify His church—
A worker free of blame?

Or is our heart the garden spot
Where grow the subtle weeds
Of flesh and self uncrucified,
That trouble and mislead?

If we are making choices,
With heart and soul and mind
Completely given up to God,
His blessing we will find.

—Author unknown

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